Sleep Like a Baby
I don't know if you're at the point where you're looking for solutions to your baby not sleeping. If you are, I want to tell you that it's okay for your baby to cry when figuring out sleep. There's nothing wrong with your child crying or feeling pressure when trying to fall asleep.
It's always good to compromise since parents' methods of sleep training can vary and one parent may prefer one type of sleep training over another, especially if one doesn't work for them. For example, my husband prefers full-on cry-it-out and I prefer a more gradual approach. It's always good to know that you can't be perfect at getting your baby to sleep because even though you've made progress, there will be days when your baby will cry a lot and it's okay to let them. You can console yourself with the fact that you're making progress, even if it may seem like there's little or none at times.
We did not sleep in the first month with Declan. I've talked about before that we ended up having to bed share with him when he was a newborn because of the cluster feeding, the nursing constantly throughout the entire night. There are different types of sleep and the CDC recommends up to six months old that you co-sleep, just sharing a room with the baby. That means you have a crib or bassinet in the bedroom with you for the first six months of baby's life. You can move into their own room earlier than that, but whatever feels comfortable for you and your family. For us, Declan went into his crib in his own room at four months old, because I didn't want to sleep with the sound machine (Even tho I can hear the darn thing on the baby monitor all night).
But we did also bed share, which means having baby sleep in the same bed as you. That is only recommended when following the Safe Sleep Seven though. This was our best option on the worst nights. I absolutely loved it, having him so close to me, but it sucked at the same time being worried about his safety. (Super important to read up on it before sleeping that way) Most times he ended up tucking his face into my body regardless of my provisions, so I don't really know how you avoid that but he would just find this little crevice. Most times he was nursing all night anyway.
When he started sleeping in his own crib, he'd wake up two to three times a night. And that was normal for a four month old, especially one that was breastfeeding. There would be a few nights that we'd get a full night's sleep. But around this time we went on vacation and he started the four month sleep regression. He slept great on vacation, but we came home and that was the end of it. There was no more good sleep. We waited two months before we sought out help.
We got a sleep coach because he was waking up too many times throughout the night at an age where he shouldn't be and I was losing sleep and Bobby was not helping out as much as I was hoping he would.
We tried what they call the Ferber method. And that is intermittent periods of comfort when baby is trying to self soothe. We kind of had a method between the two of us because Declan does not like anybody else but me putting him to sleep because I'm the one with the boobs. He would pitch a fit when Bobby tried to put him down, and then I would come in and be supermom, save the day and he'd go to sleep instantly. It wasn't always a sure thing, and some nights we had to switch back and forth for a while. It wasn't the nicest, but it was a good tactic for us.
Naps were the first thing that we were able to succeed at with the sleep coaching. And we can pretty much put him down almost anywhere for a nap and he'll go down. We do it when we go camping, at other people's houses, at restaurants and breweries. The best time is when we're going somewhere and he falls asleep in the car. Sometimes it's a good thing. Sometimes it's not.
Wake hours are the idea that babies should be sleeping a certain number of hours a day. Such as, when they're infants, it's like 20 hours a day they're supposed to be sleeping. And then as they get older, that number decreases. We've created a routine around his wake hours and plan accordingly for our outings. It doesn't always work for everybody, but we've had so much success with it. We'll be able to plan a Saturday to go grab lunch and visit a brewery and then get back home for his nap. And then we can go back out if we want.
When you are trying to get baby to go down and the crying happens, it is not a bad thing that baby cries at all. But it creates pressure that's just there. It's not like it's anybody's fault that you feel pressured by crying. I feel overwhelmed and anxious as soon as it starts. I hate knowing that I need to go in there and take care of him even though absolutely nothing is wrong and he just wants a boob or just wants me to sleep on or anything else because I know I put him down with a clean diaper and his belly was full. So I have to just sit and wait until my time is up (allow him time to self soothe) then I can go in and soothe him. I actually have to turn the volume down on the monitor so I don't have that crying sound blasting in my face and all I have to do is look at him and the noise level on the monitor. I don't have to worry about actually hearing it and I feel a little bit better about that. It kind of calms me down because I know he's okay, I'm watching him be okay just unhappy.
Meanwhile, Bobby wants to do full crying out. And I tell him all the time, I'm okay with it. I just don't want to be here for it because it gives me anxiety. And I'm not okay with that. So he's got his method, I have my method. And when I'm the one doing it, we go by my method. So just remember, parents, you have to compromise and work together. And if one of you finds a way that works, and the other one's not happy with it, you may just have to let them do it when they're not around.
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